Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Radically Changed My Life

Leading this ministry has radically changed my life. It's dramatically impacting the hurting souls of men and women.
From Equipping Counselors for Your Church, by Robert Kellemen, p. 142.

Rejoice Before the Lord

And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and your daughters...
Deuteronomy 12:12

Members of One Another

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Romans 12:4-5

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gives Grace to None But...

Martin Luther describes this good news: “God receives none but those who are forsaken, restores health to none but those who are sick, gives sight to none but the blind, and life to none but the dead….He has mercy on none but the wretched and gives grace to none but those who are in disgrace.”
Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, Rid of My Disgrace, p. 17
The Luther quote is from Martin Luther, The Seven Penitential Psalms, 1517

As I Have Loved You

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
John 13:34

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Peace With One Another

Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.
Mark 9:50

Marx's Greatest Error

This was Marx’s greatest error. He assumed the myth that the rich can only get rich at the expense of the poor. One man’s gain must spell another man’s loss. That may be true in a poker game, but not in the real world of business. With the increase of production by better tools, the cost per unit of goods declines (through the law of supply and demand). This makes it easier for people to receive the goods and services, and it raises the poor person’s standard of living. No economic system has been as effective as capitalism in raising the human standard of living.
R. C. Sproul, The Consequences of Ideas p. 144.

Primarily a Savior

Paul's religion was based not on right ideas about God and His relations to the world, but upon one thing that God had done. Not upon an eternal truth, the Fatherhood of God, but upon the fact that God had chosen to become the Father of those who accept the redemption offered by Christ. The religion of Paul was rooted altogether in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. Jesus for Paul, was not primarily a revealer, but a Savior.
Gresham Machen

A Bit of News

There were lots of moral teachers in the ancient world, but Christianity was started not by lots of moral teachers in the ancient world, but by a bit of news." The news that He was born, suffered, raised, and ascended.
Gresham Machen

Recently Happened

The religion of Paul was a religion of redemption. It was founded not upon what had always been true but upon what had recently happened.
Gresham Machen

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Change for the Long Haul

Hello Pastor Elmore,

I hope this letter finds you doing well. I can give you some answers.

First, always remember that there is a higher right than being right. Love covers a multitude of wrong doctrine, immaturity, and sins. Let it do so.

Second, guard like the plague becoming tight shoed and getting your skivvies in a knot. The temptation, as your church studies doctrine, will be to become students of the word instead of  worshippers of God. Don't let that happen. Knowledge of God is only good as long as it is expressed in worship of God and devotion to one another.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Worried About Health

Worry is generally a situation where people take trust for the future out of God's hands and try to figure it out for themselves. But we are limited and can't see very far into the future and so we worry.

While it is true that we are all dying and that many of us will die of not very comfortable things, God is still using the circumstances in our lives to make us like Jesus. Last week's lecture pointed out that God often doesn't change our circumstances, but he will and does change how we think about those circumstances. Yesterday, our pastor preached through 1 Samuel 23 and noted that even though David was the rightful King of Israel, he was still hiding in the woods. He needed Jonathan to come and give him comfort. Did David have reason to worry? Well in the sense that he didn't know the future, yes. But in the sense that he knew the one who controls the future, no.

Worry is always a lack of trust that God has things under control. Either he does, or he doesn't. Either he loves us or he doesn't. He can be in control, and he can let us die of a terrible untreatable cancer, and he loves us, all at the same time. Colossians 2:6 says that we are to live our lives from day to day in the same way we came to Christ in the first place--by faith. 'Faith' is translated from the Greek word that is also translated 'belief' and 'trust.' When we walk by faith, we are living in a way that trusts whatever God has in store for us.

The only thing worry can do is to bring on the thing we tend to worry the most about--bad health. It robs our joy. It saps our strength. It makes us edgy. It gives us an excuse to be angry with God, which unrecognized turns into bitterness. And it makes us no fun to be around.

The end of Matthew 6 has a lot of good things to say about worry.

Whatever you do with your wife, to it gently and kindly. Relate with her in such a way that she will want to be like you, trusting in Jesus for every aspect of life.